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May 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Communio veritatis, a priestly group in Germany, issued today a statement (full text below) rebuking the head of the German bishops’ conference and all those German bishops who are in agreement with him regarding the blessing of homosexual couples and intercommunion both of which have been rejected by Rome. These priests accuse the bishops of promoting heresy at their Synodal Path.

Addressing Bishop Georg Bätzing, the head of the German bishops' conference, and his complicit fellow bishops, with strong words, these priests write: “We accuse you of doing the opposite [of leading souls to the path of salvation]. You are carrying out the work of the wolves.”

They continue: “You are tearing apart the Body of Christ by disregarding the Word of God and falsifying the teachings of His Church. You are driving the flock into the abyss of your Synodal Path. You are killing the sheep because you are spreading heretical deceit.”

With these accusations, the priests sum up the doctrinal confusion that has been fostered in the last years by the German bishops under Bätzing and his predecessor Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who are promoting such controversial ideas as female “ordination,” blessing of homosexual couples, intercommunion, democracy in the Church, and contraception. In 2019, they had started a so-called “Synodal Path” that aims at discussing these matters. Even though Rome has sent different letters, such as one rejecting the German bishops’ idea of intercommunion, or a recent one rejecting the blessing of homosexual couples, the German bishops have continued to insist upon their agenda. It is to be seen in the light of this episcopal support that more than 100 German priests organized a public initiative, blessing homosexual couples in their churches on May 10.

The priestly group Communio veritatis, out of concern for the salvation of souls, has seen it now fit to present to these responsible bishops their responsibility before God and the dangers they are placing to the souls under their care. For this purpose, the priestly group headed by Father Frank Unterhalt, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, recalls statements by three holy women – all of them doctors of the Church – which point to the danger of receiving Holy Communion unworthily, of living an unchaste and even sodomitical life, and of losing one's soul and suffering eternally the pains of hell.

For example, these German priests quote St. Theresa of Ávila describing a vision she once had: “Later, however, I had another vision of horrible things, namely, of the punishments and chastisements for certain vices. […] So I don't know how we can calmly watch that the evil enemy daily seizes so many souls. […] Oh, if I could make them understand this truth who defile themselves with the most lewd and heinous sins, so that they would remember that they are not committed in secret; if I could make them understand what a just abhorrence God has for such sins, since they are committed in the immediate presence of His Majesty and we behave so disrespectfully before Him! I saw how cheaply hell is earned by a single mortal sin.”

In light of the grave duty of bishops to lead the souls entrusted to them to heaven instead of perdition, the priestly group concludes their urgent appeal:

Bishop Bätzing, against this background we call out to you today: Consider that the Most High will demand an account from you! Return to Christ and His Church, which He has built on the foundation of the Apostles! Leave the path of heresies and embrace the truth of the Catholic Faith!

This is not the first time that this priestly group has raised its voice of opposition to the heterodox leadership of the Catholic Church in Germany.

Communio veritatis formed in light of the 2018 debate in Germany about giving Holy Communion to some Protestant spouses of Catholics. Communio veritatis strongly opposed this idea and published a statement opposing their own archbishop in Paderborn, Hans-Josef Becker. Since then, the group expanded, and more priests from other places joined them or associated with them.

In January 2019, this group called upon Cardinal Reinhard Marx – then still the head of the German bishops – to resign for “abusing your spiritual office by obviously considering the Church's Sacraments as your personal property which you sacrifice at your own whims on the altar of the Zeitgeist.”

Later that same year, in June, Communio veritatis issued a statement against Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s post-synodal exhortation on marriage and the family, in which they reminded the public of the Church's practice, “in line with Holy Scripture […] according to which the remarried divorcees who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] may not be admitted to Holy Communion.” They re-stated this teaching since Pope Francis, in October 2017, gave public support to the guidelines of the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires, Argentina which admitted some divorced and “remarried” couples to Holy Communion without them changing their way of life. These guidelines had been based on Amoris Laetitia.

The leader of Communio veritatis, Father Unterhalt, also rebuked Pope Francis for his 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti, saying that it contained a “Masonic tone,” due to its tendency toward religious indifferentism and the call to universal fraternity. However, this priest reminds Pope Francis of the Church's duty to proclaim the Church of Christ.

“In this apocalyptic time of the False Prophecy,” he writes, “in which the diabolical lie is limping around, the Church of the Lord has the duty to proclaim Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the only Savior and true Redeemer.” 

Please see here the new statement of the priestly group Communio veritatis:

Leave the Path of Heresies!

“Go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature! He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16).

Bishop Bätzing, with this appeal we turn to you and to your fellow bishops who are in conformity with you.

Today, Our Lord Jesus Christ has sent out His Apostles as witnesses of the truth (cf. Mt 28:19-20).

It is His Church that He has purchased at the cost of His Precious Blood on the Cross (cf. Acts 20:28).

He has entrusted the shepherds to feed His flock and lead them on the path of eternal life.

We accuse you of doing the opposite.

You are carrying out the work of the wolves (cf. Acts 20:29-30).

You are tearing apart the Body of Christ by disregarding the Word of God and falsifying the teachings of His Church.

You are driving the flock into the abyss of your Synodal Path.

You are killing the sheep because you are spreading heretical deceit.

You show off as lords of the faith and owners of the sacraments.

Since you always emphasize that you want to listen especially to the voices of women,[1] we would like to have three famous female Doctors of the Church speak to you today. Their words answer your conduct. The remarks of these great holy women show who you are and where you stand.

1. Bishop Bätzing, with your disastrous plea for intercommunion you attack the very heart of the Church by saying: “Whoever believes in his conscience what is celebrated in the other denomination will also be able to join and not be rejected. […] Whoever is Protestant and comes to Communion can receive Communion.”[2]

This is a blatant contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church, which is clear: “To receive Holy Communion, one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the state of grace.”[3]

St. Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church,[4] in her work Scivias, shows you how disastrous the unworthy reception of the Most Holy Eucharist is for the human soul: “Verily I say unto you: Whoever eats the bread of life or partakes of the cup of the Lord – that is, the Sacrament of the Lord over heaven and earth – in an unworthy manner and polluted with sins, will thereby make himself guilty. Why? He receives the body and blood of the Lord, that is, of the Savior of the world, in an offending manner, and himself unto death. Because he leans toward evil, is soiled with impurity, and forgets the fear of the Lord. Thus defiled, he enters the sanctuary (palatium) of the salvific Redemption. And that is why he commits murder there. Why? Because he inflicts many wounds on himself and, without the soothing and bath of repentance, hides his offenses and treats this sacrament presumptuously. Therefore, I also say to him: ‘O wretched and bad (amarissime) man, how dare you plunge your Lord, for whom the citizens of heaven in their [beatific] vision yearn, into such a miserable pit?’ […] For whoever treats this sacrament badly, because he does not purify himself from the filth of wickedness and receives it unworthily, incurs a judgment of vengeance, because he eats and drinks it in an impure state.”[5]

2. Bishop Bätzing, scandalously you openly oppose the Roman No to the blessing of homosexual partnerships.[6] Thus you betray the Creator and deny the testimony of Holy Scripture.

Based on the clear biblical message, the Permanent Magisterium of the Catholic Church has always protected marriage and family. Thus, especially today, it must not be concealed that homosexual practices are among the grave sins that massively violate chastity[7] and are vehemently rejected by Holy Scripture (cf. Gen 19:1-29; Lev 18:22; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:10). The Catechism reminds us of the “crying-out-to-heaven” [“himmelschreiend”] dimension of the guilt of the sodomites.[8]

St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, in her work Treatise of Divine Providence, shows you how much the Lord condemns homosexual acts: “The wretched do even worse and commit the accursed sin against nature. And like blind fools whose reason is clouded, they do not perceive the rottenness and misery in which they find themselves. Not only to Me, who I am the highest eternal purity, it is disgusting (so detestable indeed that for this one sin I destroyed five cities by My divine judgment, since My righteousness would not bear it any longer), but even to demons.”[9]

3. Bishop Bätzing, you, like your fellow bishops, have a special responsibility before God (cf. 2 Tim 4:1-5). Your behavior and the corresponding words, on the other hand, show that you completely ignore the eschatological dimension of your deeds. However, you will experience in the Judgment the retribution of Him to whom the Church belongs in truth (cf. Rev 22:12).
In her harrowing vision of hell, St. Theresa of Ávila, Doctor of the Church, saw that many souls would be eternally lost. She experienced the unimaginable sufferings of damnation in body and soul: “I do not know how to describe this inner fire, this despair at such tremendous torment and pain. […] There is no light, but all is deepest darkness […] Later, however, I had another vision of horrible things, namely, of the punishments and chastisements for certain vices.”[10]

From her own experience “also stems the extraordinary pain I feel over so many souls who are heading for eternal damnation […] so that in truth it seems to me that I would suffer death a thousand times over with the greatest joy so that even a single soul might escape such horrible torments. […] So I don't know how we can calmly watch that the evil enemy daily seizes so many souls. […] Oh, if I could make them understand this truth who defile themselves with the most lewd and heinous sins, so that they would remember that they are not committed in secret; if I could make them understand what a just abhorrence God has for such sins, since they are committed in the immediate presence of His Majesty and we behave so disrespectfully before Him! I saw how cheaply hell is earned by a single mortal sin.”[11]

Bishop Bätzing, against this background we call out to you today:

Consider that the Most High will demand an account from you!

Return to Christ and His Church, which He has built on the foundation of the Apostles!

Leave the path of heresies and embrace the truth of the Catholic Faith!

May 13, 2021
Solemnity of the Feast of Ascension
Anniversary of the First Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima

Priestly Group Communio veritatis

[1] Cf. Georg Bätzing, Predigt zur Wiedereröffnung und Altarweihe Frauenfrieden [Sermon for the Reopening and Altar Consecration Frauenfrieden], in: bischof.bistumlimburg, November 22, 2020.
[2] Haus am Dom, “Auf dem Weg zum ÖKT 21: Abschluss” [“On the Way to the ÖKT 21 [Ecumenical Church Day 2021]: Conclusion”], April 22, 2021, in: https://hausamdom-frankfurt.de/beitrag/auf-dem-weg-zum-oekt-21-abschluss/, 37:50 and 42:50, accessed May 3, 2021.
[3] Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 291.
[4] Georg Bätzing, op. cit.: “Hildegard of Bingen was certainly the most famous woman in Europe in the 12th century: Scholar, mystic, healer, abbess, prophetess, 'Trumpet of God' they called her. In 2012, she was elevated to the status of Doctor of the Church. And that can mean nothing other than that we allow her, as in her lifetime, to speak to the conscience of the powerful in church and politics with her knowledge and spiritual experience. She never shied away from it. She never lacked clear words.”
[5] Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias. Wisse die Wege. Eine Schau von Gott und Mensch in Schöpfung und Zeit [Scivias. Know the Ways. A Vision of God and Man in Creation and Time], Augsburg 1991, 2nd part, 6th vision, no. 58, p. 259.
[6] Cf. Matthias Altmann, “Bätzing: Teile Unverständnis über Nein zu Segnung homosexueller Paare” [“Bätzing: I share the incomprehension about no to blessing of homosexual couples”], in: katholisch.de, March 24, 2021.
[7] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2396.
[8] Ibid, 1867.
[9] Catherine of Siena, Dialogue III, 124, in: Gespräch von Gottes Vorsehung [Treatise of Divine Providence], Einsiedeln 1993 (4th ed.), p. 163.
[10] Theresa of Ávila, Life, 32,2, in: Aloysius Alkofer, Das Leben der heiligen Theresia von Jesu [The Life of St. Teresa of Jesu], 1st volume, Munich and Kempten 1973 (4th edition), pp. 311-312.
11] Theresa of Ávila, 32,5 and 40,10, in: Aloysius Alkofer, p. 313, 416.
 

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli, Catholicism.org, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana, Katholisches.info, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.

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